Dental x-rays are a common diagnostic procedure that expose a patient to very low doses of radiation, which are still considered safe. When these x-rays are performed properly with adequate safety precautions in place, you will experience the same amount of radiation as you would during a one to two hour flight on an airplane.
Dental X-Rays and Children
Children are more sensitive to radiation, however, the amount of radiation your child will be exposed to during a dental x-ray is still considered safe. It is important for your dentist to keep an eye on your child’s development by taking dental x-rays, as children’s jaws and teeth are continuously changing.
Dental x-rays help dentists determine the following:
- Enough space in the mouth to accommodate incoming teeth
- Monitor the development of wisdom teeth
- Determine whether primary teeth are ready to fall out and accommodate new permanent teeth
- Identify decay and gum disease
Dental X-Rays During Pregnancy
Generally, pregnant women should not undergo any dental x-rays to avoid any and all exposure to radiation for the health of the developing fetus. Therefore, it is very important to tell your dentist if you are or may be pregnant.
If you are pregnant and have a dental emergency or are in the middle of a dental treatment plan, you may still need x-rays done. As an expecting mother, you need to balance your dental and prenatal care, which is why you should discuss the matter carefully with your dentist. Greater precautions can be taken if the x-ray is deemed necessary.
Dental X-Ray Safety Precautions
There are measures that can be put into place to further minimize any radiation from a dental x-ray. Taking a single image rather than multiple images decreases your exposure to radiation significantly. If your child needs an x-ray, you can ask your dentist to use the lowest radiation setting possible. Pregnant woman can ask to be covered by leaded coverings, such as an apron, which can protect parts of the body from radiation.
For more information about dental x-rays, feel free to ask the dental staff of Arizona Advanced Dental when you come in for your next check up. We are happy to discuss your concerns with you and give you the best possible dental care.